Is the tail wagging the words?
Many people in business looking at 2012 as the year to turn their flagging fortunes around, will not necessarily have heard the expression “long tail keywords”. You could be forgiven for imagining that the term refers to the length of the key phrases; in other words, utilising key words in longer phrases in the hope that the search engines will boost the positioning of the website because more searched key words exist in a particular phrase. In truth, long tail key words refer to the graph used to examine the key words that are searched for a particular topic. The most popular key words that a digital agency of London may analyse will be at the apex of a graph, if it were drawn, with the words securing the fewest searches at the tail ends of the graph. That is where the expression comes from: long tail key words are simply words that are Googled less frequently.
The next question that a business may ask of its ecommerce agency in London is “what is the point of using long tail key words if they are rarely searched?” One answer as to why long tail key words can be effective is that they do attract some custom, whereas, the most popular of the search words and terms are so competitive that the average website is too far down the search pages to be seen. If somebody is looking for a copywriter in London, the competition for “copywriter in London” is so intense that most copywriters living in London would not be found as hundreds would be above them in Google’s search rankings. However, if somebody searched for a “copywriter in Clonmore”, any copywriters in Clonmore Street, London, would only have to compete with the very few copywriters that come up in the search rankings that are located in Clonmore, County Tipperary in the Republic of Ireland. Of course very few people looking for a copywriter in London would include the search term “Clonmore”, but if they did, then the sole copywriter that lives in that street would receive a visit. In other words, one visit every now and then is better than no visits owing to the fact that “copywriter London” is too competitive.
An ecommerce agency in London when advising a client about key words and key phrases has to balance budget against the value of long tail key words. For example, a small business with limited funds may not be able to handle a great rush of enquiries and so a few customers brought in free via Google’s searches is all that is required. However, a larger organisation that wants lots of traffic and has deeper pockets may decide that it wants to utilise the keywords that are searched most often and by a mix of effective distribution of offsite search engine optimised articles, advertising on third party websites, and Pay Per Click in Google’s sponsored links, the organisation receives hundreds, if not thousands, of enquiries.
Perhaps long tail key words as described by the average London digital agency is a bit of a misnomer and that the term “niche key words” more accurately describes their value. Of course, it should always be remembered that there is never a magic bullet with regard to the internet; driving traffic always requires a multi-pronged approach.